BEIRUT — Smoothly and confidently, Syrian President Bashar Assad merged into traffic at a large roundabout in Damascus before driving himself to the suburbs where his forces are battling rebels.

The traffic around him and pedestrians making their way across the busy Umayyad Square gave no indication of knowing who was behind the wheel of the Honda sedan.

His low-profile trip was captured in videos filmed inside the car and released by his office late Sunday and early Monday. They show the president calm and assured as his forces appear close to clinching one of their most significant victories in the civil war.

Syrian troops are on the verge of retaking eastern Ghouta, the last major rebel bastion on the outskirts of the capital, where residents took to the streets against the Assad family’s decades-long rule in the early days of the 2011 uprising.

As he drove, Assad, wearing sunglasses, narrated his route to the camera and gave his thoughts on the battle he was going to visit. He said the images of civilians streaming out of eastern Ghouta through a corridor manned by Syrian authorities showed that his government was still popular.

A white pickup seen in several of the videos appeared to be his only escort.